Tree Management

Council owned trees

We employ professional tree specialists to carry out inspections and coordinate work on trees owned by us.

Our priority is to protect the public and keep trees in a healthy and safe condition. We are also responsible for ensuring trees are managed within the law and do not cause a problem for others.  

To report a problem with a council owned tree please contact parksopenspaces@midsussex.gov.uk.

If you believe the problem with a council owned tree to be urgent, please telephone 01444 458166.

Read our tree management policy document

Privately owned trees

Trees on private land are the land-owner's responsibility. The owner has a duty of care to manage their trees so that other people do not suffer any unreasonable harm or loss.

If your tree (or another privately owned tree) is protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) our tree officers can provide advice. They are not able to undertake a health and safety assessment of your tree. Please visit our Trees and Hedgerows page for more information on trees with TPOs.

We do not keep records of land in private ownership. To find out who owns a particular tree, you will need to carry out a Land Registry Search for a small fee. This will tell you who the land is registered to if there is a registered owner.

Pests and diseases

Trees in and around Mid Sussex can be affected by a number of tree pests and diseases. 

These include:

  • Oak Processionary Moth (more information below)
  • Ash Dieback 

We work alongside the Forestry Commission to monitor the spread of these known ‘pathogens’ and ensure all necessary steps are taken to manage them. 

It is important to note that where possible we will aim to restore trees to a healthy and safe state. If disease or pests are detected, we will not automatically remove the tree.

Oak Processionary Moths (OPMs)

Oak Processionary Moths have been present in the UK since 2012 with infestations found in London and parts of the South East over recent years. They can be identified by their dome or teardrop-shaped nests, which range in size from a ping pong ball to as large as a rucksack. They are white when fresh, but soon become discoloured and brown.

What to look out for:

  • OPM moths, the adult form of the species, are undistinctive brown moths similar to other species, and are difficult to accurately identify. They are not a health hazard and do not need to be reported unlike their junior forms.
  • OPM caterpillars have a distinctive habit of moving about in late spring and early summer in nose-to-tail processions, from which they derive their name. They live and feed almost exclusively on oak trees and can sometimes be seen processing across the ground between oak trees. They have very long, white hairs which contrast markedly with the much shorter, almost undetectable irritating hairs; have a grey body and dark head. Older larvae have a central dark stripe with paler lines down each side. The caterpillars should not be touched under any circumstances.

How to report sightings of OPMs

To report a sighting of OPM, you will need to give a precise location as to where the infestation was sighted and, if possible, provide a photo.

Web: www.forestresearch.gov.uk/opm

Email: opm@forestrycommission.gov.uk 

Phone: 0300 067 4442

For more information on pests and diseases take a look at the latest Government guidance.

Last updated: 10 February 2021